After putting on a forgettable episode of Raw last week in Scotland, WWE bounced back this week with a slightly improved show for the brand's final chance to hype this weekend's Survivor Series.
As always, I judged the final episode of Raw or Smackdown before a pay-per-view on whether it made me more or less excited to see said pay-per-view.
When it came to this particular episode, I thought WWE did a good job when it came to the top two matches, which, in my mind, are the men's Survivor Series match and, of course, Brock Lesnar versus Goldberg.
Other than those two matches, my excitement level did not increase one bit. If anything, it decreased.
Before I go any further, here are the full match results from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y.:
- Kevin Owens & Roman Reigns def. Sheamus & Cesaro
- Sami Zayn def. Bo Dallas
- Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho & Braun Strowman def. The New Day
- The Brian Kendrick def. Sin Cara
- Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks def. Nia Jax & Alicia Fox
- Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows def. The Shining Stars & The Golden Truth
Can't we all just get along?
Part of the reason why I'm not all that excited for most of the Survivor Series card is because they all have the same story: Can everyone coexist on the same team?
That's even the story for the men's Survivor Series match, but at least WWE got away from that in the final segment and went in a different direction.
But when it comes to the women's and tag team matches, it's the same story throughout.
There is not anything wrong with WWE establishing that by putting these teams together, there will be some strange bedfellows, but to drive that point home segment after segment after segment is overkill, especially for three-plus hours.
It just makes WWE look incapable of coming up with another angle to one of these matches. It has the obvious one and latched onto it, and refuses to let it go no matter how stale it has gotten.
Part of me is happy Survivor Series is finally days away so we get away from this and return to some form of normalcy on these shows.
Raw ends with brawl with Smackdown Live
The men's Survivor Series received a much-needed shot in the arm when Smackdown Live's contingent — AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt and even James Ellsworth — all showed up to back up general manager Daniel Bryan and commissioner Shane McMahon.
After a pretty entertaining verbal exchange from the two teams that included Jericho putting Styles and Ellsworth on the list, it finally broke down into a brawl like we all expected.
The brawl was pretty entertaining, as Raw defended its home turf by standing tall to end the show.
None of that had anything to do with authority figures (except Shane McMahon) or bickering amongst teammates.
That had everything to do with one side attempting to get the better of the other. In other words, it was all about competition and it was being settled in the ring, not by authority figures.
Was the summit necessary?
That's because before Smackdown Live's team showed up, the segment was going nowhere quickly, as authority figures from both brands were simply bickering back and forth in the ring.
This wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world if it occurred in the middle of the show, but this came after nearly three hours of sitting in front of a television screen or inside of an arena.
The last things I want to see at 10:55 p.m. EST are four non-wrestlers bickering in the ring. I want to see wrestlers go out there and wrestle. If anyone is going to talk, it is going to be the wrestlers.
I thought the entire premise of the segment was silly to begin with, as it was right before the State of the WWE Universe special that followed Raw on the WWE Network, which was going to feature even more of the four authority figures bickering back and forth.
However, the segment that took place in the ring was 10 times better than what occurred on the WWE Network. At least what took place in the ring had structure. The thing on WWE Network went off the rails real fast.
I'm usually an advocate of being fast and loose with the script and the structure, but apparently you can't do that with Mick Foley, who will find ways to ramble about socks that he is donating to charity.
While that is a noble cause that deserves praise, I am not trying to hear about that at 11:30 p.m. EST.
The first half of the final segment and the State of the WWE Universe special was further evidence that WWE's authority figures need to simply get out of the way. I don't mind the presence of an authority figure in wrestling, but WWE makes them the biggest stars of the shows.
The biggest stars on a wrestling show should be the wrestlers, not the matchmakers. That'd be like Dana White being a bigger star than Connor McGregor. Sure, White has the bravado reminiscent of a Vince McMahon, but even he knows when to get out of the way and stars like McGregor shine.
When that happens, you break all-time gate records like UFC did this past weekend at Madison Square Garden.
Lesnar, Goldberg segment was very good
If anyone was skeptical about this match heading into Monday night, I honestly do not know how you can feel the same way coming out, as Goldberg, Lesnar and most importantly, Paul Heyman did a terrific job.
Monday was hyped as the first face-to-face confrontation between Lesnar and Goldberg since WrestleMania 20 back in 2004.
The ring was lined with security to make sure that confrontation stayed a verbal one and didn't evolve into a physical one.
Buffalo loudly chanted Goldberg's name, which played perfectly into Heyman's hands, as he talked about how they were upsetting Lesnar.
Goldberg had nothing to say to Heyman and repeatedly asked him to leave the ring so that he and Lesnar could "get it on." He also told Heyman and Lesnar to never mention his family again. If they did, he said he would rip their heads off.
Heyman did not leave the ring and even went as far as to mention Goldberg's family again by saying that when Lesnar is done with him, his son is going to call Lesnar daddy.
This enraged Golberg, who then tore off his shirt a la Hulk Hogan and tossed around a couple of security guards, leaving nothing but space and opportunity between him and Lesnar.
Lesnar stepped out of the ring and teased going back in, but opted to walk away and wait until Survivor Series.
This was great. Firstly, the tension felt real between the two sides mostly because they didn't sound like they had been scripted by WWE. They actually sounded like real-life human beings.
Secondly, Goldberg looked in fantastic shape for a 50-year-old man. Goldberg may not have been in the ring in 12 years, but he has definitely been in the gym — a lot.